LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New details were released Tuesday in a quadruple homicide in Long Branch.
A 16-year-old New Jersey boy accused of fatally shooting his parents, sister and a family friend on New Year’s Eve.
Monmouth County prosecutors say the teen would not be in the courtroom for the Family Court hearing on Tuesday. He was due to appear via video conference and the arraignment proceedings were to be closed to the public.
The suspect’s name is being withheld because he is a minor.
The teen faces four counts of murder and a weapons offense stemming from the shooting that occurred late Sunday night in Long Branch. Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the slayings but have said they may seek to move the case to adult court.
On Tuesday, the court heard arguments from a local newspaper to make the case public even if the suspect was tried as a juvenile.
A hearing planned for Wednesday, will determine if the boy will be held during the trial, and another hearing will determine if he will be tried as an adult.
Investigators say the teen used a semi-automatic rifle, legally owned by a family member, to kill his parents, 44-year-old Steven Kologi and 42-year-old Linda Kologi, his 18-year-old sister Brittany and his grandfather’s girlfriend, 70-year-old Mary Schultz, who lived with the family. The shooting happened just minutes before midnight during a New Year’s Eve party at the family’s home on Wall Street in Long Branch.
The teen’s grandfather and brother were not targeted and left the home unharmed. Authorities say the gun used in the killings was owned by one of the survivors.
Authorities also said a third person — an acquaintance of one of the relatives — escaped the home after hearing shots fired.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni described the shooting as an isolated domestic incident and said the teen was taken into custody without issue.
“It’s a terribly tragic incident,” he said Monday.
Friends and relatives are overcome by the enormous loss.
“He always had your back no matter what. He always had your back,” said Steven Kologi’s childhood friend Ronnie Pacheco. “He loved his kids to death, he loved all his kids to death.”
“Always smiling, not a violent kid or anything like that,” said family friend Joe Rios.
“Why’d he do that to my cousin? Why would he kill his own mother? She was so good to that boy,” relative Walter Montelione said.
Relatives describe Linda as a doting mother. Brittany was a freshman at Stockton University and they say Steven worked multiple jobs to support his family.
“He loved his kids to death,” said Pacheco.
Investigators say the teen did not have a criminal history.
“He was a good kid, he was a little you know slow with learning disabilities but he knows right from wrong,” Montelione said.
A family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family’s funeral expenses.
Friends and family members were also planning a vigil in Long Branch at the Franklin Lake gazebo on Tuesday night.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)